Police arrested a 71-year-old Tennessee man on June 22 for allegedly raping a 2-year-old relative.
A suspicious family member said they installed a hidden surveillance camera and caught David Lefler, 71, telling the child to touch his genitals, the Kingsport Times-News reports.
Lefler reportedly was seen inserting his penis into the toddler’s mouth.
Court records state that the man had previously been seen zipping up his pants after leaving various rooms with children inside in his house "on several separate occasions," according to the Times-News.
However, when Lefler was asked about the surveillance camera footage, he said he "could not remember" if he had done "that" or not.
Authorities are now charging Lefler with raping a child and aggravated sexual battery. He is in prison on a $100,000 bond.
It is unclear what condition the child is currently in.
While Lefler is the abuser in this case, many elderly people are actually the victims of abuse.
According to the National Council on Aging, one in 10 Americans over the age of 60 have been abused, The Tennessean reported.
Many of these cases go unreported.
“The shocking truth is that in the majority of elder abuse and neglect cases, the perpetrator is a family member, most often an adult child or spouse,” writes Grace Smith, executive director of the Council on Aging of Middle Tennessee.
“It’s important to note that anyone in Tennessee — family, neighbor, medical professional, clergy or friend — who suspects abuse or neglect is legally obligated to report it to Adult Protective Services (APS) at 1-888-277-8366,” she adds.
The abuse can range from physical and emotional to financial.
“According to a recent survey conducted by Public Policy Polling for the Investor Protection Trust, a nonprofit organization devoted to investor education and protection, almost one in five Americans over the age of 65 — 17 percent, or nearly 7 million seniors — has 'been taken advantage of financially in terms of an inappropriate investment, unreasonably high fees for financial services or outright fraud,'" Smith notes.